Injured Northwestern State basketball star Zeek Woodley got back in action – online.
Woodley, who broke his right (shooting) wrist Dec. 19, is one of 16 contenders for a spot in the 2017 State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship March 30 at the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix. Sixteen players from throughout college basketball have been selected for the Dark Horse Dunker competition and paired in a bracket-style, online competition.
Eight first-round winners in weeklong voting at DarkHorseDunker.com advance into the quarterfinals beginning Feb. 21. Semifinals begin March 2 with the two finalists matched starting March 10.
Voting can be done daily from any hand-held, laptop or desktop computer in each week-long round.
Woodley is hopeful of returning to the court for NSU in its Feb. 22 home game against Lamar, coach Mike McConathy said Monday. The 6-2 product of Pelican All-Saints High School is 60 points shy of 2,000 in his career, 70 points away from breaking Billy Reynolds’ 40-year-old school scoring mark of 2,009 from 1973-77. He has a 19.2 career scoring average.
Winning the DarkHorseDunker.com voting would make him the second Demon player this decade to compete in the dunk contest at the Final Four. William Mosley, now playing professionally in Europe, competed in the 2011 contest at the Final Four in New Orleans.
A highlight tape of Woodley’s dunks in games and a series of trick-shot dunks he’s done in offseason training was submitted to contest organizers, along with a summary of his remarkable career credentials.
One of the most dynamic scorers and shooters in college basketball, Woodley can rise and deliver with the best of them. He’s triggered high fives in Big XII and Southeastern Conference arenas with his dunks and has posted spectacular stats against an array of Power 5 conference teams.
Charles Barkley shook his hand at the end of an NSU game at Auburn last season. Mississippi State coach Ben Howland told media he could “play for anybody in the country” after his 28-point performance in a November near-upset of the Bulldogs. Earlier in his career, Woodley missed only one shot among a dozen in a 29-point outing at Oklahoma and had a double-double at Arizona.
He has an amazing shooting eye with career aim of 56 percent overall, 41 percent on 3-pointers, and 84 percent at the free throw line.
Among the other DarkHorseDunker.com contestants are Damarcus Croaker of Murray State, Nick Stover from South Alabama, Saint Bonaventure’s Denzel Gregg, Buay Tauch from Loyola Marymount, Monmouth’s Collin Stewart and Demetris Morant of Florida Gulf Coast.